A small town police officer who wrote “f—ing pig” on a coffee cup, then blamed it on McDonald’s staff, has resigned from Herington police force in Kansas after claiming the stunt was all a “joke.”

Herington police chief Brian Hornaday said in a news conference Monday that the officer had now quit, after confessing to blaming a McDonald’s worker in Junction City for handing him a cup with the offensive message.

In fact, the unnamed officer had written it himself, and an investigation by Herington police department and the McDonald’s in question soon revealed that restaurant staff had nothing to do with it.

Police chief Brian Hornaday.

“This was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer who is no longer employed with our agency,” Hornaday said. “The actions of this former officer are absolutely in no way reflective of the values and typical character of the Herington police department.”

Dana Cook, the owner of the McDonald’s franchise in question, said in a written statement that their employees respect law enforcement and were all troubled by the accusations made by the officer. Cook said footage from the restaurant’s security cameras had quickly debunked the officer’s accusations that an employee had written across the cup.

Hornaday, the police chief, had originally taken to Facebook to express his dissatisfaction with the incident, saying at that stage — when he believed the incident to be real — that it was a “black eye on Junction City.” Now, after it has been revealed to be a hoax, Hornaday says he hopes the former officer understands the black eye his actions have given law enforcement from coast to coast.

Brian Hornaday’s Facebook post.

“The investigation that I conducted showed that this was meant to be a joke,” Hornaday said.

“However, we can see that how something so serious can get so out of control very, very quickly. The most important thing that could have been done and should have been done in this scenario would be to come forward immediately. However, unfortunately that was not done.”

Hornaday said the incident has been discussed with the local Dickinson County attorney, but said that the pressing of criminal charges is not expected.

The resigned officer, 23, began working with the force just two months ago. He had previously served in the U.S. army for five years. Hornaday declined to name the officer, saying the incident is a personnel issue. The resignation leaves just five full-time officers in the Herington police department, including Hornaday.

On Monday, the department’s Facebook page was deleted.

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